La Piccola Scuola Italiana di San Francisco


Our programs are developmentally appropriate and play-based, utilizing an approach that emphasizes autonomy and collaboration as children build self-esteem and respect for one another. Children learn Italian and live Italian culture through every day interactions and play.

Children at LPSI
"We don't just learn Italian, we learn IN Italian!"

Research shows that early childhood offers a unique opportunity to learn languages, as well as providing a critical basis for all future development and learning. Furthermore, immersion in a second language supports children to excel in linguistic, academic, social and cognitive development. By exposing your child to Italian at an early age, you stimulate brain activity which can open doors of opportunity later in life.

LPSI's approach reflects internationally recognized best practices. Specifically, our approach is similar to that in the infant/toddler centers and preschools in Italy, and to the now-famous Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.

We believe that children are robust learners who actively construct theories about their world and test their hypotheses through play and social interactions. Teachers provide materials and provocations that help children to develop a deep and connected understanding of the world. Art, music, drama, and sculpture/construction are a part of every day at LPSI, as pre-academic skills are smoothly integrated into the children's play.

Of special importance, a family-style, Italian lunch (made with organic ingredients whenever possible) is a cornerstone of the LPSI experience. We especially value coming together to share our meals, and we see this time as a special opportunity to enjoy and experience the social skills and friendships that naturally develop in this context.